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Crucible Week 1 News & Meta Report

Last Updated: May 23rd 2023

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Crucible 3.21

Welcome to the Crucible Week 1 Maxroll news wrap-up for Path of Exile, covering major events within the community, which hottest builds break the meta, Economy updates and what comes next!

Community Headlines

Let's dive into the Crucible Week 1 headlines with our community event section!

Record Week 1 Player Count

Crucible has had its share of issues, but overall is a wild success. After breaking the all time concurrent player record by over 50,000, patch 3.21 has also surpassed Ultimatum as the highest concurrent player count after the end of week 1.

If you're new and need a build, check out some of our league starters!

Crucible Creating Some All-Time Items

Crucible trees greatly improve shield base stats

Players are just cracking the surface of the Crucible mechanic, but that doesn't mean we aren't already seeing some of the craziest items in Path of Exile history. Check out this Emperor's Vigilance, boasting over 1000 energy shield and 2238 Armor. The numbers here are more than double the previous best.

These numbers aren't just for defense either! Some skills like Shield Charge, Spectral Shield Throw, and Shield Crush scale off of the Armor, Evasion, and Energy shield on your equipped shield proving that the best offense is often a great defense! If you want to know more about how to scale your defenses in Path of Exile, be sure to check our guide to defensive layers.

Twisters Cause Issues at GGG Server HQ

Saqawal's Flock was too strong for monsters... and the servers. Patch 3.21.0c added a 100ms cooldown to the Twister skill triggered by the helmet.

The Twister skill was being generated at such an absurd rate that it was crashing instances and causing server instability. Unfortunately for those playing the build, Saqawal's Flock took a huge nerf.

Rank 2 HCSSF "imexile" Taken Out Of The Race... By Another Player?

100% x 625 Planner

World-class racer "imexile" was tricked into an unfortunate situation this week, when a fellow player lured him into his Menagerie. The player used a clever series of mechanics, including the new belt, Ceinture of Benevolence, and self-damaging flasks to link himself to imexile and cause his death. GGG quickly responded by disabling the modifier on the belt that allowed this player kill, before patching the interaction out a few days later. Unfortunately for imexile, it was too little too late.

Week 1 Meta & Top Builds

Check out Tenkiei's thoughts on the week 1 meta!

These Builds Crushed Crucible

Crucible has been out for over a week now, so it’s a good time to take a look at league starters to do some meta analysis. PoENinja gives you a good idea of which builds are finding success for most people, and which are a bit overrated or struggle.

Time to go over why these builds are finding success, along with some of the biggest winners and losers of the patch.

Most Popular Builds
1Righteous Fire Jugg/Inquis/Elem
2Boneshatter Jugg/Slayer
3Lightning Arrow (or Tornado Shot) + Artillery Ballista
4Toxic Rain Pathfinder
5Cold DoT Elementalist

There are 4 Un-Ascended Shadows level 95 to 97, a task for the truly masochistic! Crucible’s most popular ascendancy so far is Juggernaut as a lot of people picked tanky builds like Righteous Fire and Bone Zone to deal with the league’s challenges. Not far behind we have two ranger ascendancies Deadeye and Pathfinder! Bow builds saw huge buffs and LA/TS are easier than ever to play without gear. Pathfinder got a rework with massive buffs so we’re seeing a lot of Toxic Rain, and Poison Builds. Looking at the SSF and HC ladders the list doesn’t change all that much, the notable difference being less LA builds and more Explosive Arrow builds.

Biggest Winners

  • RF Jugg
  • Projectile Builds
  • Pathfinder

Biggest Losers

  • Seismic Trap
  • Poisonous Concoction
  • Nimis Builds

Righteous Fire Juggernaut

Jugg was already incredibly tanky, and can take advantage of new tech to triple dip on armor! Normally armor only mitigates physical damage from hits. With Unbreakable and the newArmour and Energy Shield Mastery, Armor mitigates all hit damage! If you add Divine Flesh this further splits your  Elemental damage taken between Elemental and Chaos allowing you to double dip on armor while making it more effective by shrinking the hit! This combined with Righteous Fire's reliability is why RF Jugg is a huge winner in Crucible week 1.

Bow Builds

Bow builds, and projectile attack builds in general are another big winner, they picked up +1-2 projectiles on the tree which makes it much easier to gear. Plus Vengeant Cascade is insane! If you wanted to play a Nimis build in 3.20 but couldn’t afford it then try Vengeant Cascade, for the low cost of Golden Golden Amber oil it nearly doubles the dps on forward-firing projectile attack builds.


The last big winner is Pathfinder, an ascendancy that felt really good to play but only had a few niche uses. Now it’s much more generic offering great options for flask charges, recovery, damage, and a new way to wither that makes it a prime choice for chaos builds of all types. Move over Occultist, it’s time to bow to our flask sipping overlords!

New & Upcoming Builds

Alright enough of the boring stuff, here’s where things get juicy! Despite the build having a fairly high mechanical complexity, Doom Blast players are finding a lot of success with 675 players at level 95 and above (around 3% of the 95+ Characters on PoENinja). Hexblast Miners are also well represented, though they fall behind Ice Trap in terms of pure boss melting potential. Multiple Summon Raging Spirit variants including regular, pop, and poison are all doing well. But one build in particular caught my eye recently, Frost Blades Trickster! This build abuses Heatshiver, Vengeant Cascade, and Yoke of Suffering to gain an impressive amount of damage, this is definitely a build to watch! That said, it's still early days so stay tuned for future meta developments.



Crucible as a mechanic does not drop any loot other than Igneous Geode which is used to get a Primeval Remnant. However, for items with unrevealed trees, one crucibles worth of experience is enough to reveal the tree on the item. The strongest way to make use of this, if you're are not trying to farm experience for an item you are using is to reveal the tree of an item every map and place them in a dump tab.

Individually pricing each item will take far too long as there are too many iterations of trees and it's difficult to know what is and isn't valuable. So placing the items in a tab valued at 50 Chaos Orbs is the preferred method of monetizing the mechanic.

Crucible Trees

Crucible has already produced some of the most powerful items to ever exist within the game, there are 2000+ Elemental DPS bows up for Mirror Service and we're sure that there'll be many more unbelievable items to come. Now, your goal may not be to create a Mirror Tier item, but understanding how to utilize the Crucible Forge can massively increase the strength of your build. This works for both Rare and Unique items, though it's definitely easier on Rares!

Here are 2 very important things we know so far;

  • Allocated mods are more likely to be preserved when combining crucible trees.
  • The position of the modifier is retained when it merges with another tree.

This means that the best way to build a full crucible tree is to start with the left most modifier and work outwards. Making sure to allocate any modifiers you want to preserve before each merge. It is also important to remember that beasts such as Craicic Chimeral (also known as the imprint beast) can be used to create a save state of any tree you're working on. This brings us onto a strategy we'd like to highlight this week..


Bestiary got some nice quality of life improvements in Crucible league, you are now able to release red beasts without using a Bestiary Orb. Simply open your Bestiary and click the "release" button on any beast you do not wish to keep. This alongside Crucible tree crafting and crafters using Vivid Vultures to make perfect base items means the Craicic Chimeral is extremely valuable in Crucible making Bestiary unusually desirable.

Fenumal Plagued Arachnids (AKA the split beast), is also very valuable this league due to it's interaction with the Crucible Tree. Splitting an item makes an identical copy of the Crucible tree, which can mean you make a second copy of a valuable tree. You can also split items that sell for Divine Orbs to essentially double the amount of currency you receive from them. If you then merge the split tree onto an unsplit item... well, you can essentially endlessly duplicate currency reward. However, this isn't guaranteed as merging the trees can cause you to lose the modifiers so do this at your own risk!

Another strength of Bestiary is that it can be farmed in low tier maps where a strong character isn't mandatory, Zen_M a member of the Maxroll team farmed his Mageblood exclusively in white maps, capturing beasts. If you'd like to learn more, check out our Bestiary Boss Rush Strategy!

What's Next?

As people gear up we’re going to see some of the most unique builds in Path of Exile history. Crucible trees enable a lot of really cool builds and we’ve only scratched the surface so far! Here at Maxroll we’ve been diving head first into the new crucible and we’ll be releasing some brand new guides soon including:

  • Righteous Fire Jugg by Tenkiei
  • Vortex Ignite by Tripolarbear

Get ready for more Currency guides.

Good Luck from the Maxroll Team!

We hope your league start went well! Enjoy your Crucible journey and we will see you in game!

The Maxroll Team

Written by Aer0, MilkyBK_, Tenkiei
Reviewed by Palsteron

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